The Social SEEDS partnership organised the 1st Policy Learning Dialogue of the extension period between the 5th and 6th of April, 2022 in České Budějovice, Czech Republic

The main purpose of the 1st Transnational Policy Learning Dialogue that took place in České Budějovice, Czech Republic between the 5th and 6th of April 2022 was an exchange of experience between Social SEEDS project partners and their stakeholders, focusing on the post-covid recovery of the social economy sector.

Accordingly, the results of the first round of conducted mapping of covid effects on SE ecosystems and policies had been presented by partners during the event as well as social enterprises’ business-related experiences and lessons learnt during the pandemic.

The event was organised as a hybrid event due to the still-lasting pandemic restrictions. ZOOM streaming of the event provided the opportunity for online participation.

The first session of the event on the 5th of April focused on the results of mapping the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional SE ecosystems conducted by the consortium. First, Miriam Mohr from Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, Germany presented the methodological approach that each partner applied when implemented this mapping. After that, each project partner presented the findings of their own mapping activities. The presentations were followed by a discussion on the topic among the attendees.

In the framework of the 2nd session, each project partner presented their policy instruments addressed between 2016 and 2021 in the 1st and 2nd phases of the Social SEEDS project and the developments achieved throughout the years of project implementation. The instruments were presented either by project partners or by stakeholders being responsible for the policy instruments. Discussion followed the presentations.

Attendees had a chance to attend not only the plenary sessions, presentations and the related dialogues of partners and social enterprise experts, but also the field trip to the social enterprise KABINET CB, which was streamed via the Google Meets platform.

First, the attendees visited the main premises of the enterprise where they were introduced to the business model of the social enterprise, which operates a reuse centre including a shop, a community café, community workshops for reuse and upcycling activities and a community dormitory for students. After learning about all the services of KABINET CB, participants visited the warehouse of the enterprise, where furnitures are stored and restored.

On the 2nd day of the event, the 1st session was dedicated to exchanging experiences of social entrepreneurs regarding operating a social enterprise during the pandemic. Valuable lessons learnt from this period had been shared. Discussion followed after the presentations.

The last session of the Policy Learning Dialogue was an internal project meeting dedicated to project management issues. Partners discussed activities implemented and results achieved so far as well as pending deliverables and issues of project implementation. Partners also started to plan the 2nd Transnational Policy Learning Dialogue that will take place in Poland in September 2022.